My love for basketball and the PBA

I started as a Tanduay fan back in 1986 and followed the animo spirit. My father was a diehard Ramon Fernandez fanatic and naturally rooted for the Rhum Masters. I grew up loving the same team my father learned to love. What got me hooked to the game was how players like Padim Israel, JB Yango, Willie Generalao, Freddie Hubalde, Onchie de la Cruz, Ed Cordero, and Fernandez exuded great passion and resolve everytime they touch play on the hardcourt. I was amazed at how ‘El Presidente’ can make so many things on the floor some big men could only dream of doing. I feverishly tried to copy every move he made and grew even a moustache even though I was only 11 years old. ok that was a joke.
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My Best Imports of All-Time

In the current Fiesta Cup, it’s easy to spot Purefoods’ Darius Rice, Coca-Cola’s Jason Dixon, Red Bull’s Adam Parada and Sta. Lucia’s Wesley Wilson as standouts among the field of 10. They’re not only filling up the boxscores but are also helping their teams get headway in the tournament. Rice is the optimum shooter while Wilson is the classic shotblocker. Parada is the perennial team player while Dixon the consummate interior operator. How do they stack up against the best of all-time? Well, I have compiled a list of imports who, I think, have made a great impression in our shores. Check it out. In no particular order…

Billy Ray Bates (6’3″ Crispa, Ginebra) – Nicknamed the “Black Superman”, he’s probably the most exciting import to grace Philippine shores. He’s a two-time Best Import awardee and led Crispa to its second grandslam in 1983. He returned to the PBA in 1986 to form a monstrous tandem with Michael Hackett in the Open Conference and led the Gins to its first PBA crown. A power slammer and a feared rainbow hitman, he’s the only import to win two Best Import awards in the same season. He bowed out of the scene in 1988 due to drinking problems, but still no one can deny, he was the ultimate showman among all imports of all time.

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